Peppercorn-Crusted Ahi Tuna Salad

Source: Nelson German, alaMar

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on October 23, 2016.

Serves 4


Ahi Tuna
1 pound ahi tuna
2 tablespoons sambal chili paste
¼ cup ponzu marinade
2 tablespoons kosher salt
¼ cup coarse black peppercorn
1 ounce canola oil

Citrus Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
1 lime (zest and juice)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 bunch peppercress
¼ pound baby spinach
1 Fuyu persimmon
2 Persian cucumbers
1 Golden Delicious apple

¼ bunch cilantro (set some leaves aside for garnish)
⅓ cup capers
2 cloves garlic
½ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


To prepare the tuna: Put the tuna in a mixing bowl with the sambal, ponzu, and salt.  Drench all sides of the tuna. Let it marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  Bring out the tuna from the refrigerator and crust with coarse black peppercorn. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 ounce of canola oil.  Sear the tuna for 1 minute on each side to leave the inside rare. (You can add a minute more for if you prefer more doneness.) When done, let the tuna rest for 1 minute, then slice as thinly as you’d like.

To make the citrus aioli: Mix all ingredients for the citrus aioli in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

For the salad: Wash your greens and set aside to dry on paper towels or use a salad spinner. Peel the persimmon with a peeler and slice thinly. Next, thinly slice the apple, discarding the core.  Also slice the cucumber thinly and set aside. 

To make the vinaigrette: In a blender add the garlic, cilantro (reserving a few leaves for garnish), capers, and vinegar.  Blend ingredients on low; blend it to a smooth consistency and then add the olive oil at a slow steady stream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To plate the dish: Mix the spinach and peppercress in a bowl and add vinaigrette to desired taste. Put greens on desired plate; then add the persimmon, apples, and cucumber.  Add tuna slices on top of the greens then add a drizzle of aioli on top and some more vinaigrette on top of the tuna; garnish with cilantro leaves.

Farmers Market Ingredients